by Carole McCray
First impressions are important. How a person speaks or the firmness of a handshake creates an
impression. And so it
is with the entry landscaping which is the first part of a home viewed by
visitors. To make a good
impression, the front entrance should create a welcome feeling with a
design for enhancing the home.
IDEAS FOR WELCOMING WALKWAYS
For an informal effect, plan for the
front walk to follow a gently, curving path from the street or driveway
and across part of the front lawn.
For a formal look, position the
walkway in a straight line from the street or at a right angle to the
Plant large areas on each side of
the walk near the house, street, or driveway, and fill them with low
shrubs, groundcovers, annuals, and perennials.
Avoid planting a hedge or lining up
a row of shrubs on each side of the walk.
This gives a cramped appearance.
Create a landing at least 6x6 at the
main entry door. The landing
should be extended about 1˝ feet on each side of the doorjamb so visitors
have ample room to stand.
For a dramatic entrance, a
patio-like landing or courtyard can be added in front of the main
entryway. To achieve a
transition from outdoors to indoors, this area can be enclosed with a low
wall or fence.
On the main entryway landing or at
wide points in the walk, position flower planters.
Place an arbor or trellis in front
of the house over the walk. Plant
flowering annual climbers--vining black-eyed Susan, morning glory, or
sweet pea. Try perennial
flowering vines--clematis, wisteria, honeysuckle, or trumpet vine.
Think about the entire front yard
when you plan a welcoming front entrance.
Try to avoid foundation planting;
this is the seldom changing, year long display of only evergreen foliage
that hugs the house.
Your local Growise Center will be
able to advise you with alternatives to foundation planting.
To complement your home design,
consider the style of your home—is it traditional and formal, or is it
casual and informal.
Evergreen shrubs like boxwood,
holly, juniper, yew, false cypress, or arborvitae are well suited for a
formal design home.
Groundcovers can extend into the
lawn area. Pachysandra,
myrtle, and creeping juniper are attractive in a formal landscape.
Informal designs avoid formally
clipped evergreens. Deciduous
shrubs like bayberry, red-osier dogwood, viburnum, winged euonymus, and
bayberry, need little pruning; bonuses are colorful foliage, berries, and
The area often used for foundation
planting and the lawn can become the spot for a new garden.
Instead of a lineup of evergreens along the foundation, plant a mix
of evergreens and deciduous shrubs.
Allow perennials, masses of spring
bulbs, and other seasonal bulbs to takeover the area normally reserved for
Include deciduous flowering shrubs
and even small trees if space permits.
Underplant shrubs and perennials
with an evergreen groundcover.
Use an attractive mulch to
complement your plantings.
OTHER WAYS TO SAY “WELCOME”
Plant flowers around the mailbox;
vining flowers climbing the post are pretty.
Place an antique wheelbarrow out
front and fill it with seasonal blooms—I like potted primroses in the
spring; containers of flowering annuals in the summer; Indian corn,
pumpkins, potted mums, and bittersweet for fall, and Christmas greens and
holly for a winter welcome.
Plant some lovely perennials such as
roses, peonies, or irises along the driveway.
Plant vines to grow up a lampost.
Plant window boxes with flowers and
trailing vines and mount boxes on porch railings or on or just below
Plant a small flowerbed next to the
Create a cottage-like, dooryard
garden near the front door.
Plant flowers in the grassy area
between the sidewalk and street.
Create a sense of welcome with a
decorative driveway. If
affordable, consider paving your driveway with bricks, cobblestone, or
bricklike interlocking pavers.
Whether it is meeting people or
having visitors to our home, making a good impression is important.
For achieving an inviting, welcoming impression to your home, your
Growise staff will help you create an entryway that says, “welcome.”